Advertisement

Emergence as an Explanatory Principle in Artificial Societies. Reflection on the Bottom-Up Approach to Social Theory

  • Martin Neumann
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5466)

Abstract

This article investigates the notion of emergence in Artificial Societies. Roughly, two competing approaches to the foundations of social science exist: A micro foundation of social theory on the one hand and a notion of an emergent holistic social theory on the other. This dichotomy re-appears also in Artificial Societies. It will be argued that philosophical decisions made on the methodological level of how to interpret the concept of emergence will result in different sociological theories. This will be demonstrated by re-examining considerations on emergence undertaken by Joshua Epstein, who argues for a micro foundation of social theory. These considerations are then settled in the context of the long-lasting debates about emergence in sociology and philosophy of science. Considerations from the complexity theory and Philosophy of Science will be utilised to develop a concept of emergence which leads to the notion of an autonomous social sphere. It is demonstrated by two examples that this concept can be applied to Artificial Societies.

Keywords

Epistemology of Artificial Societies Complexity Emergence Foundations of Social Theory 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Epstein, J., Axtell, R.: Growing Artificial Societies. Social Science from the Bottom Up. MIT Press, Cambridge (1996)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gilbert, N., Troitzsch, K.G.: Simulation for the Social Scientist. Open University Press, Buckingham (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gilbert, N.: Varieties of Emergence. In: Proceedings of Agent 2002 Conference: Social Agents: ecology, exchange and evolution, Chicago (2002)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gilbert, N.: Emergence in social simulation. In: Gilbert, N., Conte, R. (eds.) Artificial Societies: The computer simulation of social life. UCL Press, London (1995)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eguiluz, V., Zimmermann, M., Cela-Conde, C., Miguel, M.: Cooperation and the Emergence of Role Differentiation in the Dynamics of Social Networks. American Journal of Sociology 110(4), 977–1008 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Skyrms, B.: Evolution of the social contract. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goldstein, J.A.: Emergence as a construct: History and Issues. Emergence 1(1), 49–72 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Richardson, K.: On the Limits of bottom-up computer simulation: Towards a nonlinear modelling culture. In: Proceedings of the 36th Hawaiian International Conference on System Science. IEEE, California (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Richardson, K.: On the Relativity of Recognising the Products of Emergence and the Nature of Physical Hierarchy. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Biennial International Seminar on the Philosophical, Epistemological and Methodological Implications of Complexity Theory, Havana International Conference Center, Cuba, January 7-10 (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kohler, T.: Putting Social Science together again. In: Kohler, T., Gummerman, G. (eds.) Dynamics in Human and Primate Societies: agent-based Modelling of Social and Spatial Processes. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1999)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Drogul, A., Ferber, J.: Multi-agent simulation as a tool for studying emergent processes in societies. In: Gilbert, N., Doran, J. (eds.) Simulating Societies. The computer simulation of social phenomena. UCL Press, London (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Watkins, J.W.N.: Historical Explanations in the Social Sciences. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8(30), 104–117 (1957)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Durkheim, E.: Les Regles de la Methode Sociologique. Presses Universitaires de France, Paris (1895)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Durkheim, E.: Representations individuelles et Representations collectives. In: Durkheim, E. (ed.) Sociologie et Philosophie. Libraire Felix Alcan, Paris (1924[1898])Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Epstein, J.: Agent-Based Computational Models and Generative Social Science. Complexity 4(5), 41–60 (1999)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sawyer, K.: Social Emergence: Societies as Complex Systems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Axelrod, R.: Advancing the Art of Simulation in the Social Sciences. In: Conte, R., Hegselmann, R., Terna, P. (eds.) Simulating Social Phenomena. Springer, Berlin (1997)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Drogul, A., Corbara, B., Lalande, S.: MANTA: new experimental results on the emergence of (artificial) ant societies. In: Gilbert, N., Conte, R. (eds.) Artificial Societies: the computer simulation of social life. UCL Press, London (1995)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Epstein, J.: Remarks on the Foundations of agent-based Generative Social Science. CSED Working Paper No. 41 (2005)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bonabeau, E., Dorigio, M., Theraulaz, G.: Swarm Intelligence: From Natural to Artificial Systems. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1999)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kennedy, J., Eberhart, R.: Swarm Intelligence. Academic Press, San Diego (2001)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Knorr-Cetina, K., Cicourel, A.V. (eds.): Advances in social theory and methodology. Routledge, London (1981)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Alexander, J.: Action and its environment. In: Alexander, J., Giesen, B., Smelser, N. (eds.) The Micro-Macro Link. University of California Press, Berkley (1987)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Archer, M.: Realist social theory: the morphogenetic approach. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mayntz, R.: Individuelles Handeln und gesellschaftliche Ereignisse: Zur Mikro-Makro-Problematik in den Sozialwissenschaften. MPIfG Working Paper 99/5 (1999)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sawyer, K.: Artificial Societies: Multiagent Systems and the Micro-Macro Link in Sociological Theory. Sociological Methods and Research 31(3), 325–363 (2003)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Heintz, B.: Emergenz und Reduktion. Neue Perspektiven auf das Mikro-Makro-Problem. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 56(1), 1–31 (2004)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Giddens, A.: The constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Polity Press, Cambridge (1984)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Collins, R.: On the Microfoundations of Macrosociology. American Journal of Sociology 86(5), 984–1014 (1981)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Elster, J.: Rational Choice. Blackwell, Oxford (1986)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Coleman, J.: Foundations of social theory, vol. 1. Belknap Press, Cambridge (1990)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Esser, H.: Soziologie: allgemeine Grundlagen. Frankfurt a.M., Campus (1993)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Homans, G.: Bringing man back in. American Sociological Review 29(5), 809–818 (1964)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Comte, A.: Système de Politique Positive, vol. 2. Otto Zeller, Osnabrueck (1967[1851])Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Boutroux, E.: The Contingeny of the Laws of Nature. Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago (1916[1874])Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Parsons, T.: The structure of social action. The free Press, Glencoe (1937)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Blau, P.: A Macrosociological Theory of Social Structure. American Journal of Sociology 83(1), 26–54 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bhaskar, R.: The Possibility of Naturalism. Routledge, New York (1975)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Luhmann, N.: Soziale Systeme. Grundriß einer allgemeinen Theorie. Surkamp, Frankfurt a. M. (1984)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Sawyer, K.: Durkheim’s Dilemma: Towards a Sociology of Emergence. Sociological Theory 20(2), 227–247 (2002)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Durkheim, E.: Le Suicide. Libraire Felix Alcan, Paris (1930[1897])Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Gellner, E.: Holism versus individualism. In: Brodbeck, M. (ed.) Readings in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences. MacMillan, New York (1971)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Goldstein, L.J.: Two theses of methodological individualism. In: O’Neill, J. (ed.) Modes of Individualism and Collectivism. Heinemann, London (1973)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    McLaughlin, B.: The Rise and Fall of British Emergentism. In: Beckermann, A., Flor, H., Kim, J. (eds.) Emergence or Reduction? De Gruyter, Berlin (1992)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Stephan, A.: Emergence – A Systematic view on its historical facets. In: Beckermann, A., Flohr, H., Kim, J. (eds.) Emergence or reduction? Essays on the Prospects of Nonreductive Naturalism. De Gruyter, New York (1992)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Stephan, A.: Emergenz: von der Unvorhersagbarkeit zur Selbstorganisation. Dresden Univ. Press, Dresden (1999)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Bunge, M.: Emergence and the mind. Neuroscience 2(4), 501–509 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Bedau, M.: Weak Emergence. In: Tomberlin, J. (ed.) Philosophical Perspectives: Mind, Causation, and World, vol. 11. Blackwell, Malden (1997)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Mill, J.S.: A System of Logic: raciocinative and inductive. Hawaii Univ. Press of the Pacific, Honolulu (2002 [1891]) (reprint of the 1891 ed.) Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Lewes, G.: Problems of Life and Mind, vol. 2. Kegan Paul, London (1875)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Alexander, S.: Space, Time, and Deity, vol. II. MacMillan, London (1920)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Morgan, L.: Emergent Evolution. William & Norgate, London (1923)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Broad, C.D.: The Mind and its Place in Nature. Routledge, London (1925)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Hempel, C., Oppenheim, P.: Studies in the Logic of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 15(2), 135–175 (1948)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Nagel, E.: The Structure of Science. Harcourt, New York (1961)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Stephan, A.: Varieties of Emergentism. Evolution and Cognition 5(1), 49–59 (1999)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Bunge, M.: Treatise on Basic Philosophy. Ontology II, vol. 4. Reidel, Dordrecht (1977)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Sullis, W.: Archetypical dynamical systems and semantic frames in vertical and horizontal emergence. Emergence: Complexity and Organisation 6(3), 52–64 (2004)Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Darley, V.: Emergent Phenomena and Complexity. In: Brooks, R., Maes, P. (eds.) Artificial Life IV: Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on the Sythesis and Simulation of Living Systems. MIT Press, Cambridge (1994)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Chaitin, G.: A Century of Controversy over the Foundations of Mathematics. Complexity 5(5), 12–21 (2000)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Canning, D.: Evolution of Cooperation through Inter-Group Conflict. Working Paper, Department of Economics, Queens University of Belfast, Belfast (1995)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Young, H.P.: The Evolution of Conventions. Econometrica 61(1), 57–84 (1993)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Campbell, D.: Downward Causation in Hierarchically Organised Biological Systems. In: Ayala, F., Dobzhansky, T. (eds.) Studies in the Philosophy of Biology. MacMillan, London (1974)Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Kim, J.: Downward Causation in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism. In: Beckermann, A., Flor, H., Kim, J. (eds.) Emergence or Reduction? De Gruyter, Berlin (1992)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Emmeche, C., Køppe, S., Stjernfelt, F.: Levels, Emergence, and three types of downward causation. In: Bøgh, A.P., Emmeche, C., Finnemann, N.O., Voetmann Christiansen, P. (eds.) Downward Causation. Minds, Bodies and Matter. Åarhus University Press, Århus (2000)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Hodgson, G.: Reconstitutive downward causation: Social Structure and the development of human agency. In: Fullbrook, E. (ed.) Intersubjectivity in Economics. Routledge, London (2002)Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Lewis, A.A.: On Turing Degrees of Walrasian Models and a General Impossibility Result in the Theory of Decision Making. Mathematical Social Science 24(3), 141–171 (1992)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Kramer, G.: An impossibility result concerning the theory of decision making. Cowles Foundation Reprint, No. 274, Yale University (1974)Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Lewis, A.A.: On Effectively Computable Realizations of Choice Functions. Mathematical Social Science 10(1), 43–80 (1985)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Moss, S., Edmonds, B.: Sociology and Simulation: Statistical and Qualitative Cross-Validation. American Journal of Sociology 110(4), 1095–1131 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Sawyer, K.: The Mechanisms of Emergence. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34(2), 260–282 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Latour, B., Woolgar, S.: Laboratory Life, vol. The Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills (1979)Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Galison, P.: How experiments End. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1987)Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Giere, R.: Explaining Science. A Cognitive Approach. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Kitcher, P.: The Advancement of Science. Science without Legend, Objectivity without Illusions. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1993)Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Hacking, I.: Representing and intervening. Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge (1983)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    Hacking, I.: The participant irrealist at large in the Laboratory. British Journal of the Philosophy of Science 39(3), 277–294 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Stone, M.: Chaos, Prediction and Laplacian determinism. American Philosophical Quarterly 26(2), 123–131 (1989)Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Salmon, W.: Four decades of scientific explanation. In: Kitcher, P., Salmon, W. (eds.) Scientific Explanation. Minnesota Studies of the Philosophy of Science, vol. 8. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis (1989)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Neumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyBayreuth UniversityBayreuthGermany

Personalised recommendations